Killers welcome the limelight and their heroes applause

Jan 14 2005

By Chris Brown, Daily Post

In the short space of a year, The Killers have turned from nobodies to serious stars.

From meeting heroes like Bono and David Bowie to playing massive shows across America and Europe, 2004 was their year.

The debut album "Hot Fuss" recently went Platinum over here, while in America, where they've just completed a special tour with the cream of last year in Franz Ferdinand, Keane and Snow Patrol.

In the US the record is edging ever closer to that magic million mark.

As if that weren't exciting enough, they've also been nominated for three Grammy Awards.

To mark that start of 2005 they are headlining the sell out Shockwaves NME Awards tour.

Bassist Mark Stoermer is still excited by last year: "The ups are really great, being able to do this as a career is fantastic, doing what one in a million want, what everyone who plays their guitar in a garage dreams of.

"Being able to play your own music for people and meeting your heroes, we've met Bono, Elton John and David Bowie, is just awesome.

"That's surreal, two years ago these people were only in our fantasies.

"Now they actually know who we are and appreciate our music. But the downs can be bad - up until a couple of months ago we were still in a van.

"You hardly ever sleep, you hardly ever go home, in some way it's a mad way to live - most nights I sleep in a little coffin bunk on the floor of the bus - but it really is all worth it.. I'm not complaining, you understand!"

The NME tour has a legendary status for picking bands just as they are about to peak.

The Stereophonics, The Coral and Franz Ferdinand have all played the shows each giving legendary performances.

Mark is hopeful that there own performance will march it.

He said "I think we are a whole different thing live than on record. We bring a whole load of energy and we definitely try to make every performance something special.

"We're getting better and better right now, we've had a year of touring and it gets really exciting playing these shows. We're more raw, more brutal on stage. When we connect with the audience and they connect with us amazing things happen."

The name of Mercury Music Prize winners Franz Ferdinand does pop up a lot around them. Perhaps because the group were in a very similar situation a year ago before they made it.

Mark says: "It does put some pressure on us. But in America we're pretty equal. They've been selling a lot of records in the States, but we're catching up.

"We're doing really well in the UK, so, independent of their success, we always thought we'd be successful anyway.

"But it's great to see bands even close to what we're doing being successful. It's a positive sign."

With four bands, Futureheads, Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party, playing 13 dates across the country in little over a month Mark is not exactly delighted with the travel arrangements.

His worries about the trip are very understandable.

He says: "Sleeping on the floor, the bus jerking around, nine other guys around you at all times, the lack of privacy, every time you look up seeing someone's ass sticking out of a bunk, so many things. But you get used to it

"We have a little pre-gig ritual. We have a huddle and sometimes we'll talk about things that might have gone wrong the night before.

"We talk about what to do, what not to do, how important the show is. Other than that we just hang out and do our thing!"